Firstly, let’s chat about your track 'No Bad Energy'… how did Stormzy and Skepta end up getting involved?
Well, to be honest like, the reason I’m so happy about it is because it was quite organic. I made the song before getting them on it, at first I got the idea that they might sound great on it so I acted on that, hollered at them. You know Stormzy’s a good friend of mine, has been for a number of years. Skepta, you know, is someone I look up to, from the same area and stuff, you know what I mean, and he’s always been quite welcoming, always saying yeah man I’d love to hear some stuff or let’s try and do something together. So I just tested him out basically on that one and yeah I eventually got two verses one from Stormzy and one from Skepta.
And then of course you did a new version with Wretch 32… how did that one come about?
Like, all it was is that we thought a remix would be great, we were going to do like loads of MC’s on it and then I thought I’d like to go back to back with someone I respect and he’s helped me out so much in the past so I wanted to like, you know, do something with him, just do the remix myself and Wretch 32.
JME, Wiley, Skepta etc all talk about technology at the time playing a big part in their journey from fruity loops to forums and sharing music via bluetooth. Coming into the scene as the next generation, what was your journey?
I think, how do I put this, I don’t know what my take on that is because I’ve arrived at this time, in this era and my approach is what it is. So I’m tweeting, I’m posting things on Instagram. On instagram I post things I like and what I’m doing so it’s like a diary and I just say stuff on there sometimes. I’d definitely say it’s a great tool to share stuff with people, I can just tweet a song and the world can see the tweet, you know.
Who did you listen to growing up, who’s been big influences on you musically?
Jay Z, TuPac, Biggie, Wretch 32, Kano, Amy Winehouse, Frank Ocean. I’m a person, like, the way I consume music is I take in a lot of information, in a sense where when I listen to someone like Frank Ocean I’m subconsciously picking up in the same way I might listen to a Jay Z verse, my listening choices are quite diverse. Just understanding the privilege to have access to such great music in this world.
What was the last song you listened to?
The last song I listened to was Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean and Migos – Slide. It’s a nice song.
What can we expect from your live shows?
Do you know what, I just love having the opportunity to bring what you create in the studio to life. You can expect high energy, a lot of lyrics, you know, an intimate experience and yeah just a great moment, a great moment that hopefully we look back on with pride.
How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your music?
My sound in particular I would say is more hip hop influenced but you know I’m just trying to find a way to express myself, whatever that sounds like is whatever it sounds like, you know. I suppose you hear that all the time but it’s really true so yeah I just try and express myself as much as I can.
Where can we catch you over summer?
I’m going to be doing a few festivals and stuff, you know. Some really great ones, we’re at Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, Brighton… it’s just exciting to be doing music as a job you know what I mean, it’s just a pleasure.
Interview: Roberta Hickey
Online Edit: Ra'ed Khan